Maternity Stories - Katie from Texas, United States – Mamagama Maternity

Maternity Stories - Katie from Texas, United States

Posted by ralu mamagama on

1. Please describe the moment you found out you were pregnant.
I got my official “positive” on a catamaran in the Gulf of Thailand. We were optimistic, but I hadn’t had any clear symptoms yet. Meanwhile, my husband and I took off on a ten-day sailing trip with his parents. I used up all my tests during the first couple days of the trip and had to buy more at a tiny pharmacy in a remote Thai beach town. On the morning of December 25th ( ! ) a test finally showed positive! We wrapped the results in a Christmas present for his parents to open that day. They were elated and cried tears of joy. Then we went snorkeling!

2. How did you announce your pregnancy to your friends and family?
We were living in Hong Kong at the time, and some of our local friends were quite suspicious when I wasn’t drinking alcohol on New Year’s Eve. We let them assume the news, but everyone else had to wait until after week 13. We planned a trip back to my home (Texas) and told my parents with an inscribed baby book and copy of the sonogram. This would be their first grandchild and they were overjoyed. We called a few close friends to tell them personally, then posted an announcement on Facebook.

3. Name the most beautiful and the most unpleasant pregnancy experience
The most beautiful pregnancy experience I had was how healthy I felt - to the extent that I didn’t talk about it much when I met up with my other pregnant friends for fear of creating enemies! I exercised throughout the entire pregnancy, didn’t have any cravings or aversions, and didn’t even have nausea, swelling or acid-reflux. It was a very comfortable pregnancy, except for…

The most unpleasant experience: going into preterm labor at week 25. I had finished my final project for my final class for a university degree the day before. A large (figurative) weight was off my shoulders and now I could focus on enjoying the rest of the pregnancy and preparing for baby’s arrival. I went to a prenatal yoga class that day and felt some tightening, but I brushed it off as Braxton Hicks. I went home to rest and saw my husband off for his business trip to India. 
I was going to try to “sleep it off”, but by 11pm that night the tightening was getting too intense and consistent to ignore, so I emailed my midwife. (Emailed?!) She just *happened* to be online and called me right away to calmly suggest I head to the hospital. So I packed a small bag, hailed a taxi and headed to Queen Mary.
Meanwhile, my husband landed in Delhi to my message that I was in the hospital. He flew back to HK and was by my side within 36 hours. I ended up spending a week in hospital while they worked to slow the contractions and stabilize me. It was a very scary time, but our friends’ support and the care we received was amazing. As it turned out I had an asymptomatic infection that kicked off labor. After a week out of the hospital I was pretty much back to myself again, even eventually resuming light exercise. I didn’t view time the same after that experience, though… every single day that ticked by uneventfully was a true blessing.

4.Tell us some pregnancy problems the glossy books don’t really talk about
At risk of stating the obvious, I wasn’t prepared for preterm labor. That was a curveball! I also wasn’t prepared for induction. I went ten days overdue. (My theory is that our little one didn’t want to come out after nearly being kicked out at week 25!) I researched and read about everything else to the nth degree, but somehow - even knowing I had to be induced - I felt pretty ignorant about what was involved in an induction. Which leads me to…

5. Your giving birth story, anything you want to share
I gave birth at a public hospital in Hong Kong. It was a great hospital, equipped with all the best technology and top doctors… but, let’s put it this way: they didn’t “over communicate” and the primary language for most of the staff was Cantonese. So, call it a miscommunication, or “lost in translation”, or that I just didn’t ask the right questions… but somehow I didn’t know that the day I arrived for what I *thought* was my last check-up was actually my admission day.

I thought I’d get to go home after the “check-up” for one last dinner, one more great night’s sleep, and one more check of the go-bag. My husband wasn’t even planning to come to the ‘day before birth’ visit (even though he did), and all I brought with me was my handbag! I felt so unprepared, and with all the hormones I just fell apart right there at the admissions desk. 

That was only the first in a long line of *“I didn’t know this was how it was going to go!”* moments. It was a tough, painful, lonely night. And while I was hoping to go without drugs for as long as possible, that idea flew out the window and I took every drug available to me as soon as they would give it. All in all, it seems my induction was fairly textbook. I was well cared for and left a few days later with sweet little Isabel. Maybe my birth experience was the ‘yin’ to my ‘yang’ pregnancy?

6. Which personal traits you hope your future children learn from you?
I hope Isabel is as curious and open-minded as her father and I are. I hope she’s thirsty to learn about and experience other people, cultures, ideas and the world around her. I hope she’s creative like me and an optimistic problem solver like her dad. Finally, I hope she’s compassionate and kind. The world always needs more of that!



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